How to challenge a DWI breath test

How to challenge a DWI breath test

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Criminal Defense

A charge of driving while intoxicated can be dismaying, especially if it involves a breath test. Judges and juries alike put blind faith in the results.

Despite the scientific nature of these devices, they are far from foolproof.

Question the calibration and maintenance of the device

Breath testing units require regular calibration and maintenance to ensure accurate readings. Absent them, a tester might give inaccurate readouts. Request maintenance records to check the device’s condition during your test.

Highlight operator errors

The accuracy of a breath test also depends on how the tester uses it. Operator errors occur if the person conducting the test does not follow proper procedures due to carelessness or a lack of training. Pointing out improper test administration or questioning the operator’s qualifications can raise doubts.

Consider medical conditions

Certain medical conditions may alter the results of a breath test. For example, acid reflux and diabetes can produce mouth alcohol. Because breath tests are only supposed to measure alcohol from the lungs, these medical problems sometimes lead to false numbers.

Examine the timing

The timing of a breath test can influence its accuracy. Alcohol absorption varies based on many factors, including how recently you ate or drank. If the test’s administration happens while your body is still absorbing alcohol, it might not provide a proper measure of your impairment.

Discuss possible contaminants

External factors also might affect a breath test. For instance, the alcohol in mouthwash and breath spray could skew the data. Evidence of using such products or any other source of potential contamination could aid in your defense.

It may be wise to challenge your DWI charge by raising one of these variables. The better your argument in court, the more likely the judge will dismiss the case.